MANILA, Philippines - Here’s a brief profile of each of the House prosecutors:
• Cavite Rep. Joseph Emilio Abaya
Abaya, the great grandson of the first Philippine president, Emilio Aguinaldo, finished his elementary education at the De La Salle University and was a consistent honor student at the Philippine Science High School. He entered the University of the Philippines for college but topped the entrance examination for the Philippine Military Academy that he was sent by the government to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics in 1988. He then proceeded to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and completed a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering. He took up law at the Ateneo de Manila University and was admitted to the Philippine Bar in 2007.
• Isabela Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao
Aggabao studied at the La Sallete School in Santiago, Isabela during his elementary and high school days and obtained his B.S. Commerce degree major in Accounting at the De La Salle University (DLSU) in 1975. He obtained his Bachelor of Laws at the Ateneo de Manila University in 1980. He was a provincial board member from 1992 to 1995 and in 1998 to 2001 in his province. He also worked as a Bar reviewer at the College of Law at the Far Eastern University, lecturer at the College of Commerce at DLSU, and associate attorney at the Siguion-Reyna, Montecillo and Ongsiako Law Offices.
• Akbayan party-list Rep. Arlene Bag-ao
Bag-ao obtained her law degree at the Ateneo de Manila University in 1993 after studying college at the De La Salle University. She graduated from the South Eastern College in 1985. She was a convenor of the Alternative Law Group. She once worked as a special consultant at the Department of Agrarian Reform that facilitated that awarding of numerous land titles to farmer-beneficiaries. She is however known for her work as the lead counsel of the Sumilao farmers from Bukidnon who walked for 1,700 kilometers from Bukidnon to Manila to claim rights to their lands against a large corporation.
• Dasmariñas City Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr.
Barzaga graduated valedictorian from the Dasmariñas Elementary School. For his secondary education, he was valedictorian of the Class 1966 of the Immaculate Conception Academy. After earning his bachelor’s degree in Commerce Major in Accounting as cum laude from San Beda College, he completed his Bachelor of Laws degree from the Far Eastern University (FEU) as magna cum laude while working. He taught law at FEU and was also a Bar reviewer while engaged in private practice as a certified public accountant and lawyer.
• Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares
Colmenares is a long-time human rights lawyer, constitutionalist and expert on international humanitarian law. He was among the youngest political detainees during martial law. Prior to joining the legal profession, he was a student activist. He finished his Bachelor of Arts in Economics at San Beda College and completed his law degree at the University of the Philippines. He is completing his Doctorate in Law with Melbourne University on the International Criminal Court and the Legal System Impediments to Prosecution of Human Rights Violators. He was arrested twice for his student activism by virtue of an Arrest, Search and Seizure Order (ASSO) issued by the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos. Colmenares was imprisoned and tortured for four years during martial law.
• Northern Samar Rep. Raul Daza
Daza graduated cum laude from the University of the East with a degree in Business Administration. He also graduated cum laude from the University of the Philippines College of Law. He placed 11th in the 1958 Bar examinations and is a lifetime member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. He was a member of the State Bar of California, USA and was the first Filipino to pass both California Attorney and Certified Public Accountant examinations without formal education in that country. He is a life member of the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He was a governor of the province from 2001 to 2010.
• Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas
Fariñas was a consistent honor student during his elementary and secondary school days. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree at the Ateneo de Manila University and took up law at the same school where he graduated with honors. He placed eighth in the 1978 Bar examinations. He began his political career as Laoag City mayor at 28 and later became the province’s governor for several years where he was cited for his work by various private organizations.
• Pangasinan Rep. Marlyn Primicias-Agabas
Primicias-Agabas was former vice governor of the province and currently chairs the House committee on the revision of laws. She is a granddaughter of former senator Cipriano Primicias Sr. She took up college at the University of Sto. Tomas and obtained her law degree at the San Beda College of Law. She began her political career as municipal councilor of San Nicolas town. She is a member of the Federacion International de Abogadas and the Women Lawyers Association of the Philippines.
• Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption party-list Rep. Sherwin Tugna
Tugna finished his B.S. Commerce degree at the University of Santo Tomas in 1998. In 2002, he took up his Juris Doctor at the Ateneo School of Law and graduated in 2006. He was admitted to the Philippine Bar in 2007. He worked as junior associate lawyer at the law firm Angara Abello Concepion Regala and Cruz Law Offices. Thereafter, he joined the firm of Puyat Jacinto and Santos Law Offices as a junior associate lawyer. Eventually, he put up his own law firm Tugna Jala and Associates Law Offices in 2009.
• Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas
Tupas is the head of the prosecution panel of the House of Representatives. As chairman of the House committee on justice, he steered the successful impeachment of former ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez. He is also a member of the powerful Judicial and Bar Council that screens nominees to members of the Judiciary.
• Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali
Currently vice chairman of the House committees on ways and means, good government and public accountability, justice, and constitutional amendments, Umali took up law at the San Beda College and the Manuel L. Quezon University. His pre-law was Economics at the Ateneo de Manila University and took up management courses at the University of Southern California on a scholarship grant. He was deputy commissioner of the Bureau of Customs from 2007 to 2010 and was also executive director of the Run After The Smugglers (RATS) Group in 2009 to 2010. He also was a managing partner of Westwood Law office in 1998 and managing partner of Umali, Soriano and Associates. Umali also worked at the National Economic Development Authority in various capacities from 1979 to 1985.
List of private lawyers:
Reagan de Guzman
Jan Perry Eugenio
Peter Leo Mendiola
Marl Chester Ti
Jane Laarni Pichay
Michelle Ann Erum
Jenny Vi Buslig
Renato Samonte Jr.
Jose Luis Rey Munsayac
Max Banares Jr.
Harry Roque Jr.
Dexter Donne Dizon
Allan Jones Lardizabal
Federico Roxas II
Norma Singson-De Leon
Vitaliano Aguirre II